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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (LaLiga blockbuster edition)

The biggest game in the Spanish top division this weekend sees FC Barcelona travel to the Spanish capital to face a struggling Atletico Madrid side that have five wins in their last 16 games. In Italy, in-form Lazio will look to keep their position on the Serie A table standing with a home game against Udinese in the Eternal City. In Germany, there is a big clash between leaders Borussia Monchengladbach and fourth-placed Freiburg at Borussia Park and in England, Manchester City travel to the North East to face Newcastle United, bear in mind, Pep Guardiola’s team stumbled at St. James Park on their last visit in January.

Let us take a preview of some of the most exciting matches in this FESIG edition.

We begin in France;

OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE v STADE BREST – FRI. 29 NOV 2019, 20.45HRS
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Olympique Marseille can reduce the gap at the top of the table to five points on Friday evening when they host Stade Brest before PSG face Monaco on Sunday. Les Phocéens have clicked into gear in recent weeks under André Villas-Boas winning their third straight league match away at Toolouse to take them to second spot for the first time this season. Brest will make the 700-mile journey southwest from Brittany to with belief they can create an upset at the Orange Velodrome. They were five minutes away from holding PSG to a 1-1 draw a fortnight ago and battled to a draw against Nantes last weekend.

VERDICT – Brest will have to face Marseille with a host of midfielders missing out (Haris Belkebla, Yoann Court and Paul Lasne have ankle, knee and thigh complaints respectively, while Christian Battocchio is ill). History favors the home team, in the last 10 Ligue 1 meetings at home against Brest, Marseille have won eight. AVB’s team are in a good moment and should be good value for all three points at home.

AS MONACO v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – SUN. 01 DEC 2019, 21.00HRS
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Monaco were building some momentum in recent weeks until their defeat at Bordeaux last weekend. It was extremely disappointing for Leonardo Jardim and team because a victory at Matmut Atlantique would have seen them climb eight places to sixth position in the standings. Les Monégasques have to turn their attention to this game against leaders PSG at Stade Louis II on Sunday night but they will be without suspended Islam Slimani. PSG will arrive in Monaco filled with confidence having avoided defeat away at Real Madrid. Thomas Tuchel’s side was second best but showed resilient fighting spirit to force a draw from the hands of defeat.

VERDICT – This fixture used to be one of the French league’s standout fixtures and the time allocated for it is a clear indication. However, there is a distant gulf in quality between both teams and it is unthinkable that Monaco were league champions just two years ago. Monaco has lost the last Ligue 1 home matches against PSG thought the visitors have been slightly below their usual level away from home this season but their recent record against Monaco means they are favorites. Over 2.5 goals

To Germany;

SC PADERBORN 07 v RB LEIPZIG – SAT. 30 NOV 2019, 15.30HRS
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Paderborn produced a massive display at Dortmund but had to settle for a draw after taking a 3-0 lead at half time. The point earned has not helped their cause, they sit bottom in the standings. Steffen Baumgart’s team has lost nine of their opening 12 Bundesliga matches and is already six points off safety. Leipzig are the next team to show up at the Benteler-Arena; Die Roten Bullen are just a point off leaders Gladbach and can leapfrog them to the top for 24 hours at least. Julian Nagelsmann team is on a three match winning run in the Bundesliga and showed a credible fighting spirit to claw by a two-goal deficit against Benfica in the Champions League.

VERDICT – This is a game between teams at the opposite ends of the Bundesliga table. Paderborn have lost five of their last six Bundesliga home matches; RB Leipzig are undefeated in 25 of their last 28 matches. The difference in quality is obvious so anything other than an away victory would be an upset.

BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH v SC FREIBURG – SUN. 01 DEC 2019, 15.30HRS
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Borussia Monchengladbach will look to bounce back from the disappointing 2-0 loss to Union Berlin last time out in the Bundesliga. The Foals still lead the pack in the league but the margin has been reduced to a single point with Leipzig and Bayern waiting to pounce. Visiting Freiburg are just three points behind their host and can move level on point if they can upset Marco Rose team. Christian Streich’s troops shared the spoils with Bayer Leverkusen last time out to extend their unbeaten run to four games in Bundesliga. Can they keep their remarkable run going against the league leaders?

VERDICT – Marco Rose troops have reacted positively to their Union Berlin defeat with a victory in Austria in the Europa League. The eye-catching football at Borussia-Park continues to excites fans as the home team eye a fifth consecutive win on home ground. Freiburg are playing above expectation so far but creating an upset at Gladbach is unlikely.  

To Italy;

LAZIO v UDINESE – SUN. 01 DEC 2019, 15.00HRS
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Lazio welcome Udinese and look to equal their best ever form under Simone Inzaghi of six consecutive wins, a feat last achieved back in October 2017. Le Aquile sit third in the standings and will look to keep the chasing pack at bay in the race for a top-four spot. Udinese’s objective for the season is to retain their top flight status but Le Zebrette have continued to struggle despite the change in guard. After just three games in charge, pressure is building on caretaker manager Luca Gotti to turn around Udinese terrible away record that has seen them lose 38 matches since January 2018.

VERDICT –Lazio have scored at least two goals in each of their last eight Serie A matches but have never in their history managed nine in a row. With an average of 2.2 goals per match in the last six Serie A meetings against Udinese and the visitors awful away record, the hosts can be confident of securing all three points on Sunday.

HELLAS VERONA v AS ROMA – SUN. 01 DEC 2019, 20.45HRS
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Verona host Roma on Sunday evening, as Ivan Juric’s side look to build on an impressive victory over Fiorentina last weekend. The victory lifted Verona up to ninth in the Serie A, the Gialloblu have built their top flight campaign on a strong defensive unit, conceding only 11 goals in 13 league matches so far. Roma have found some form in recent time, with one defeat in the last six in the league and two comprehensive wins over Brescia and Istanbul Basaksehir since the international break. The Europa League victory will give the Giallorossi confidence heading into Sunday’s game.

VERDICT – We have an interesting fixture at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi between Verona’s solid defense and Roma’s ultra-attacking approach under Fonseca. October 1996 was the last time Verona got a victory over Roma in Serie A, that victory has been followed with five draws and 10 defeats. European exhaustion will affect Roma’s physical preparation. We are not expecting a high scoring game in Verona.

To Spain;

ALAVES v REAL MADRID – SAT. 30 NOV 2019, 13.00HRS
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This fixture like many others were one Real Madrid’s darkest hours from last season. Los Blancos are a different team under Zidane right now and would have been disappointed not to see out the midweek game against PSG. The trip to Vitoria is another tough test for Real Madrid as they aim to put more pressure of arch rivals Barcelona at the top of the table. Alaves are under new coach Asier Garitano; the former Leganes and Real Sociedad coach is building a side that is difficult to beat at home. Only Sevilla has managed to leave Mendizorrotza with all three points this season.

VERDICT – Real Madrid have won five of the last six competitive meetings but Alaves should not be underestimated. They have conceded just twice at Mendizorroza in seven outings and have their strikers are in decent form. However, Real Madrid have more about them and will be motivated to move three points clear of Barcelona in Vitoria. An away victory is on the cards.

ATLETICO MADRID v BARCELONA – SUN. 01 DEC 2019, 21.00HRS
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A season that promised to usher a new era in Atletico is suffering hitches currently; these are nervy times for Atletico Madrid who face the ultimate test when defending LaLiga champions Barcelona come calling on Sunday night at Wanda Metropolitano. Los Colchoneros are on a poor run, one with five matches in all competitions but they can draw level on points with Barcelona with a win in this game. The Catalans lead the way in the standings but know they need all three points to stay at on top with arch rivals Real Madrid tipped to beat Alaves on Saturday. What kind of reception will Antoine Griezmann get at his old club?

VERDICT – It is interesting to note that Atletico Madrid have never beaten Barcelona in the league under Diego Simeone. In the last six meetings, it has been 3W, 3D for Barcelona against the capital club. This fixture hasn’t always lived to its billing and the last two at the Wanda Metropolitano has ended in stalemate.  

To England;

NEWCASTLE UNITED v MANCHESTER CITY – SAT. 30 NOV 2019, 13.30HRS
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Newcastle are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League victories over Manchester City for the first time since November 2003, having won this fixture 2-1 back in January. The Magpies are aiming to extend their unbeaten home run to six Premier League matches and move into the top half of the table when they host third-placed Manchester City, a side targeting a fifth win in their last six league fixtures. It’s been a testing few weeks for Manchester City as they produced another unconvincing display during midweek, in their 1-1 draw at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.

VERDICT – Newcastle have been quite strong in defense when playing at St. James Park, they have conceded only four goals at home but City has scored in their last 21 Premier League matches against Newcastle, winning 18 of them. Steve Bruce’s team will set up in a defensive structure to counter Pep Guardiola’s offense threat which makes this a tricky game for either team. Over 1.5 goals is our prediction for this lunch time game.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS v SHEFFIELD UNITED – SUN. 01 DEC 2019, 15.00HRS
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Fifth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers are seeking a third consecutive win for the first time this season while Sheffield United, one place and one point below Wolves in the table, are aiming to make it seven away matches without defeat in the Premier League. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side made a slow start to the season but they are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League encounters, winning four. Chris Wilder’s team showed character in a 3-3 draw with Manchester United, with the team scoring the winner in the dying minutes of the game. What can we expect giving the attacking potential in both teams?

VERDICT – In the last 19 meetings between these teams, Wolves have the slight edge with seven wins to Sheffield’s five and seven draws in between with an average goal ratio of 2.7 per game. We believe both teams will get on the scoresheet in Molineux.

This wraps up our FESIG preview for the week. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers in all matches available in the French, German, Italian, Spanish and English leagues and more for the weekend.

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